Archive for December, 2011

Comic Book Reviews: Top 10 Comics of 2011

December 29th, 2011 Comments off

Comic Book Reviews: Top 10 Comics of 2011!

It’s time for our weekly comic book reviews, but this week is a little different: we’re naming our Top 10 Comics of 2011! What did we choose? You’ll have to watch the video below to find out (although there is one hint, below right!). Agree? Disagree? Bring your reaction to the comments below!

Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! Since most of these comics have been on the shelves for a few months, we did go into greater detail about the plots.

Ultimate Comics Death of Spider-Man



Did we get it right? What were your personal Top 10 Comics of 2011? Post yours below!

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Happy Holidays From Things From Another World!

December 23rd, 2011 Comments off

Holiday FunHappy holidays! We want to take this chance to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and an excellent Kwanzaa, Festivus, and Chrismukkah! We’re grateful for your business and support over the years–thank you for being part of our comics family.

The TFAW offices and warehouse will be closed Monday, December 26 as we enjoy egg nog and read comics at home with our loved ones, and we hope you’re doing the same. But we’ll be back December 27–see you then!

The TFAW Crew

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Comic Book Reviews: Justice League #4, Daredevil #7 & more

December 21st, 2011 Comments off

New Reviews of Comics and More!

It’s time once again for our weekly comic book reviews! This week, we review Justice League #4, Daredevil #7, Lady Mechanika #3, the Siege HC, and the new Star Wars Commander Resin Statues. Find out which of this week’s new releases are “Box-Worthy,” “Fence-Worthy,” and “Not Worthy.”

Check out the video, below. MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So did these comics and items make the cut? Listen to our opinions and then post your own below.

Star Wars: Agent of the Empire Comics



What did you think? What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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Comic Book Reviews: DC Comics The New 52 HC, Witch Doctor & More

December 14th, 2011 Comments off

New Reviews of Comics and More!

It’s time once again for our weekly comic book reviews! This week, we review the DC Comics The New 52 HC, Ultimate Comics X-Men #4, Batman and Robin #4, Star Wars: Agent of the Empire #1, the Witch Doctor TPB, and the new POP! Vinyl Star Wars Figures. Find out which of this week’s new releases are “Box-Worthy,” “Fence-Worthy,” and “Not Worthy.”

Check out the video, below. MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So did these comics and items make the cut? Listen to our opinions and then post your own below.

Star Wars: Agent of the Empire Comics



What did you think? What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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Writer Sam Humphries Talks About His New Series Sacrifice

December 13th, 2011 Comments off

Sacrifice #1 Obsidian Variant EditionEvery so often, an indy comic comes along and grabs the attention of the entire industry. Sam Humphries, one of the brains behind MySpace Dark Horse Presents, did it once with the edgy Our Love Is Real, and now he’s doing it again with Sacrifice, his time-traveling Aztec adventure with artist Dalton Rose! The debut issue, out December 14, has already pre-sold out, a rarity for an independent comic, but you can still get the Obsidian Variant Edition of Sacrifice #1 exclusively at, if you act quickly.

We had the chance to pick Humphries’ brain about how where his inspiration comes from, how he made such a big splash with a self-published comic, and how he feels about the late, lamented MySpace Dark Horse Presents. Plus, we’ve got some teaser images for Sacrifice #1, below! Can you introduce us to Sacrifice?

Sam Humphries: Sacrifice is a time travel story about a guy named Hector who gets ripped out of the 21st century and thrown into the middle of the Aztec Empire. It’s a fantasy fish-out-of-water story with psychedelic fireworks and retro T-shirts. What does “Blood Will Tear Us Apart” mean?

SH: It’s a pun, kind of! It’s a tagline that mixes the blood of Aztec sacrifice with “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” a jaunty tune by post-punk mop tops Joy Division, a band that has special significance for Hector. Sacrifice delves into Aztec history–why did you choose that culture and time period?

Sacrifice Teaser #1SH: I’ve been obsessed with the Aztecs for almost a decade. They believed they were the chosen caretakers of the Earth, the cosmos, and reality itself, and they needed to keep it alive every day with human blood. That’s an insane amount of responsibility! Can you imagine living with that on your shoulders? So intense. What kind of mentalities would grow out of a culture like that?

That’s just one of the reasons I find the Aztecs fascinating. Sacrifice grew out of that fascination. So were you already pretty knowledgable about the Aztecs, or did you need to do a lot of research?

SH: I’ve done a ton of research over the years, just for my own enjoyment. I’ve got a shelf full of books and pages full of notes. When I formally began working on Sacrifice, I had a pretty good framework for understanding their civilization. There were plenty of specific things I needed to research for the book, but for a story this historical, I was lucky to have a solid head-start. What exactly is happening to Hector?

SH: To explain too much at this point would be to spoil the fun, ask me again in six months. He’s epileptic, he’s anxious to the point of paralysis, and he’s suddenly found himself 500 years in the past. Typical “slice of life” stuff. Do you have more stories planned after this six-issue miniseries?

SH: Sacrifice forms a loose trilogy of Aztec-centric stories I have planned in my head. Sacrifice takes place in the past, one takes place in the present, and the third takes place the future.

Is a trilogy of Aztec stories a practical plan? You gotta keep hope alive! But the answer is “probably not.” How did you choose Dalton Rose as your artist?

Sacrifice Teaser #2SH: Quetzalcoatl spoke to me. He told me to take a walkabout around Los Angeles until I found an eagle perched on a Vespa with a blunt in its mouth, which led me to the Archaia offices. There, the crew was generous enough to introduce me to Dalton’s work. Then they morphed into a pack of rainbow jaguars and flew into the night sky. That’s how the moon got its spots, and how I got a collaborator. How do his strengths benefit Sacrifice?

SH: In a fantasy story, you need an immersive environment that is both fantastic and believable. You need grounded, intense, emotional characters. And you need kick-ass action. This is Dalton’s first published work and he is absolutely crushing it. Everyone is going to be blown away when they see what he can do. You’ve had a very eclectic career as a writer thus far: Sacrifice is very different from Our Love Is Real, which was very different from Fraggle Rock. How do you envision your career continuing?

SH: Our Love Is Real vs. Fraggle Rock 12-issue maxi-series. It’s gonna be huge. Baxter paper, 24 variant covers, co-branded viral social media campaign, Travis Charest interiors, introduction by Judi Dench. The whole deal. We might even involve Henson in the process. There are a lot of self-published comics creators out there, but very few make the media and retail splash that you have, with both Our Love Is Real and Sacrifice. Do you have any tips for other creators?

SH: Yes. When embarking on an ambitious project, it is extremely valuable to define specific and articulate goals for yourself. And I mean very specific. In my experience, “I just want to write a comic,” or “I just want to get something out there,” are not nearly specific enough. Do some soul searching and figure out what it is you really want. You won’t regret it.

If you focus on your goals, apply smart strategies to get there, and work your ass off, amazing things can happen.

Sacrifice Teaser You were a major force behind MySpace Dark Horse Presents, which ended in 2010. Now that you’ve had some time to reflect, what do you take away from that experience?

SH: Man, nothing but great memories. A new Concrete story. Introducing Achewood to my bemused co-workers. Splashing Los Bros Hernandez all over the MySpace home page. Kicking off Sugarshock! by Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon. Working with the Dark Horse crew on a weekly basis. Seeing a lot of new talent getting their first big shot. And one very fateful vegan brunch in New York.

I had a blast. It was a privilege to play a small role in the history of Dark Horse Presents, which meant so much to me as an evolving comic book fan. Congratulations on Sacrifice #1 selling out before it even went on sale! You don’t have any traditional distribution, so how did things like variant covers and partnerships help contribute to the sell out?

SH: When you are self-publishing and self-distributing, you have to take advantage of every opportunity, and turn weaknesses to strengths whenever possible. Any one neglected path could be the difference between success and failure. That’s all variant covers are, an opportunity to generate more excitement from readers and retailers. As long as your covers are cool and your messaging is straightforward (IE you don’t try to make them into something they’re not), it can be a fun and effective tool in the direct market.

And of course, it helps to have a baller partner like in your corner. Not to shine your shoes in your own living room, but it’s a huge deal to have one of the biggest online retailers get behind a brand-new, self-published, creator-owned comic like Sacrifice. It makes all the difference in the world. What’s next for you and comics?

SH: I’ve got to produce an issue of Sacrifice every month for another five months! Isn’t that enough? WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME ELISABETH.

Ha! Our thanks to Sam for answering all of our questions–and then some! The Obsidian Variant Edition of Sacrifice #1 is limited to just 250 copies and is available exclusively here at, but copies are selling out fast. Get yours today!



Are you interested in reading Sacrifice? Post your comments below!

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November Product Review Contest

December 9th, 2011 Comments off

As part of our monthly Product Review Contest, we’ve picked three reviews and are awarding $25 gift certificates to the people who posted them.

Matthew from Boring, OR is the first of this month’s winners. His endorsement of the Batwing series was better than any recommendation we could come up with for the series (We do recommend you check it out, BTW. The art and story are both top-notch):

I’m a big Batman fan so when I heard of the new African Batman called Batwing I was a little sketchy, but after got to reading the first issue I wanted more. I really like the super villain, Massacre, who stays true to his name but also hunts down super heroes. He’s a great first challenge for Batwing, and I’m excited to see how Batwing is going to overcome such a powerful villan. I also like how gruesome this come comic has become. This has become one I my favorite New 52 series.

Andrew from Australia wrote a bunch of awesome reviews last month for some DC graphic novels, one of them being Grant Morrison’s Animal Man TPB Vol. 1, which we’ve included below:

This is Grant Morrison’s masterpiece. Leave your baggage at the door – I don’t care if you think he’s a genius or a nut-case, this is proof the man can write. Buddy Baker is a family man, dealing with regular family issues while trying to be a superhero. Morrison’s true skill lies in the fact that he can write a family of regular people and make them interesting. That sounds easy, but remember when Wally West (The Flash) had kids – what a disaster. On top of that are some truly brilliant stories and some seeds planted for future events in later issues. I know it looks a bit hokey (Animal Man does sound a little lame) and Morrison can be a divisive writer, but this is worth your time and money if you’re looking for something outside of the normal superhero fare with a good dollop of humour, horror and genuinely touching moments.

Finally, Matthew F. from New York dropped by for a few reviews, one of them for the Lobster Johnson: The Satan Factory novel. Here’s what he had to say:

First let me make clear that I wasn’t all that familiar with the character of Lobster Johnson/”The Lobster” before I read this. Having said that, the author and/or Mike Mignola seem to have combined the best of the pulp heroes to create him (The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Spider to name a few), and to great effect. I’ll go so far as to say that the book itself is a love letter to the pulp magazines in general. I would suggest this to anyone that enjoys action, pulp magazines/heroes, and the feeling of kid-like escapism that this book creates.

We want to thank everyone again for sharing their product reviews last month. Good stuff! If you’re submitting product reviews, please don’t submit duplicate reviews or submissions from other merchant websites. You don’t have to like the product to snag a winning review, so feel free to rant or gush.

So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors, and us, sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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Comic Book Reviews: Defenders #1, Voltron #1 & More

December 7th, 2011 Comments off

New Reviews of Comics and More!

We’re back with our weekly comic book reviews! This week, we review Defenders #1, Voltron #1, and Villains for Hire #1. Josh goes it alone this week, but don’t worry, Elisabeth will be back next time.

Check out the video below. MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So were these comics and items Box-Worthy, Fence-Worthy, or NOT Worthy? Listen to our opinions and then post your own below.

Defenders #1 at



What did you think? What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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Check it Out: Doc Bizarre MD Five-Page Preview

December 6th, 2011 Comments off

Doc Bizarre MDIn stock now! Make sure to check out the new Doc Bizarre M.D. hardcover from Image Comics. This hilarious, action-packed adventure by Joe Casey (Vengeance, Haunt) and Andy Suriano (Batman The Brave and The Bold) is chock-full of supernatural medical mysteries, and you can preview it here at!

For monsters crippled with pneumonia or demons suffering from incontinence, only one man claims to possess the skills and the training to cure what ails them . . . Doc Bizarre, M.D.

He’ll make globe-hopping house calls for sick creepers, medically challenged myths, and ghouls at death’s door! It’s over-the-top, comedic horror from Joe Casey and Andy Suriano!



What did you think? Post your comments below!

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Felicia Day Talks About The Guild FCBD Comic & Dragon Age: Redemption

December 5th, 2011 Comments off

The Guild: Zaboo One ShotDark Horse Month was too big and exciting to contain in just one month, so we’re closing it down with a “visit” from the one and only Felicia Day, creator/writer/producer/star of The Guild, her wildly popular web series focusing on a misfit group of gamers. We chatted with her about the upcoming The Guild: Zaboo one-shot, her Free Comic Book Day comic (a flip-book paired with Buffy the Vampire Slayer!), her latest web series, Dragon Age: Redemption, and more.

We’ve also got an exclusive six-page preview of The Guild: Zaboo–enjoy! Now that you’ve completed both The Guild miniseries and several one-shots, how are you enjoying the process of making comics?

Felicia Day: I feel like I’ve really hit a personal stride, that I actually look forward to working with the format and thinking more visually. The process is a lot more fun now that I’ve gotten my own methodology down. Can you give us any hints about what we’ll discover about Zaboo in The Guild: Zaboo one-shot?

FD: Sandeep [Parikh, her co-star and co-writer of the one-shot] is a director, so I think this issue is much more visual, similar to the Bladezz issue (which I did with Guild director Sean Becker). The cool thing is that Sandeep is a big gamer as well, so we tried to infuse a lot of gamer ideas into the script and the visuals. There are homages to everything from FPSs to Mario Kart. I’m excited for people to read it.

The Guild: Zaboo Page Does this take place before or after Season 5?

FD: As are all the one shots of the core characters I’ve done this year, this one is pre-season 1, with the timeline catching up to the web series by the end of the issue. Dark Horse just announced there will be a Guild comic for Free Comic Book Day–as a flip book with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How do you feel about that pairing?

FD: SUPER PSYCHED. Ahem, sorry about the caps. I didn’t know they were going to do that, and to be paired with such a great title is an honor for sure. I was excited to be able to get word about the series out and support such a great event. What can you tell us about the storyline for the FCBD comic? Will it tie into Season 6 of the web series at all?

FD: It’s a stand-alone for people who might not be familiar with the show and it’s sort of out of time with the series, but canon. Have you considered expanding your comics work–writing a Buffy story, or a superhero book?

The Guild: Zaboo Page 2FD: I would love to fit in other comic projects, but I am really stretched thin right now. Next year is going to bring some big changes though, and I hope to fit in more writing alongside with all the web series I’ll be doing. The idea of creating something new is really appealing to me though. Cyd and Zaboo’s relationship has been through several twists and turns: she took a second look at him romantically in Season 5, but that fizzled after a brief experiment. Where will they be in Season 6?

FD: I can’t tell, and if I could I wouldn’t anyway :) . The show is still not picked up, so we have a lot of options with what we can do with the show, actually. I might be interested in doing something different with the format. We’ll see what the new year brings! A lot of characters made a quantum leap in Season 5: Tinkerballa (ahem, April Lou) opened up to Cyd, Vork fell in love, kind of, and most importantly, it looks like Cyd has an actual job–with The Game! Are we going to see a more “functional” Guild in Season 6?

The Guild: Zaboo Page 3FD: Of course not, functional is boring! I am having fun bringing the characters out of their shells a bit, though. Their friendship is making them better people, which is the central story of The Guild, really. I just rewatched Dragon Age: Redemption and really enjoyed it. How did you prepare for such a physical role?

FD: It was monumental will power that got me out of bed at 6 am every day for three months, doing two hours of working out, then going to work for eight hours and working on the script and The Guild and everything else I have to do, then training again before I went to bed. I think I almost broke myself, but it was 100% worth it. It definitely made me respect big action heroes more, who literally make that process their life. I don’t think I’ll ever be in that good shape again, to be honest. :) The end of the web series left a lot of room for a sequel–is anything currently in the works?

FD: Nothing planned now, but Tallis is, awesomely, a part of the Dragon Age universe. I could only hope she appears again! What were the biggest differences (besides budget) between producing The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption?

FD: I think scale was the biggest, we had so many more crew on Dragon Age, it was hard to even look at it like a web series; it was TV-sized. Also Dragon Age had a huge post-production process with special effects and color timing and transcoding, etc. etc. That was a huge learning lesson, how complicated post-production can be when you do a lot of special effects and involve so many people on that end of production.

I think the biggest lesson I took was that I kind of enjoy shooting things with three people more, haha.

The Guild: Zaboo Page 4The Guild: Zaboo Page 5The Guild: Zaboo Page 6 You’ve acted in projects by others, and those you produce yourself. When you’re creating your own material, do you think you make fewer compromises, or just different ones?

FD: Filmmaking is, by definition, a compromise art form, I think, whatever the scale. You never quite realize exactly what is in your head–sometimes you fall short, sometimes other people’s input and talent help you exceed it. That’s the beauty and the frustration of making films.

I certainly have a bit more control over what I produce personally, but wearing so many hats tends to round out the perfectionist corners because it’s simply a lot to take on, especially when we have such low budgets. So really, the challenges always vary from project to project, which is why I love what I do. Variety I what I live for. What do you think is the key to creating realistic female characters, both in comics or for web or TV series?

FD: I think creating a character, not a type. We all read characters that jump out as, “MOM,” “GIRLFRIEND,” “GEEK GIRL”–they start from cliches and never overcome them. Moms aren’t always kind, teen daughters aren’t always rebellious. Start creating a character with a unique perspective, interesting past experiences, and then make her female. Then something awesome will hopefully happen.

Our thanks to Felicia for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to order The Guild comics and graphic novels here at



Are you curious about The Guild Season 6? Have you watched Dragon Age: Redemption yet? Post your reactions below!

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Steve Niles Reflects on 20+ Years of Criminal Macabre

December 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2Dark Horse Month was so big, it couldn’t be contained in just one month! Up next: an excellent interview with writer Steve Niles, the creator of such seminal horror comics as Criminal Macabre and 30 Days of Night. With the Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2 coming out in January and a Criminal Macabre story that just concluded in Dark Horse Presents, now was the perfect time to catch up with Steve and ask him what’s next for Cal!

Read on for our exclusive interview! Plus, enjoy an exclusive preview of the Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2! WARNING: SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t read Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men. You created Cal MacDonald more than 20 years ago–how have you changed in that time?

Steve Niles: Ha! I think I’ve changed a little more then Cal has. Back when I created him I was probably a lot more like him then I care to admit. Luckily, in 20 years I’ve mellowed. Cal hasn’t, of course. I also find it really fascinating that I was younger than Cal when I started writing, and now I’m older then him. Damn fictional characters age so slow. Cal, of course, has undergone a major change–he’s dead after the events of No Peace for Dead Men. He seems to think it’s a temporary problem–is it?

SN: This has been in the cards for Cal since the beginning. One of the big unanswered questions–through the novels and comics–has been why do the ghouls follow Cal everywhere? Well, now we know why. It might be permanent. It’s up to Cal. He was a werewolf once (See second novel: Guns, Drugs & Monsters) and he got out of that with a little help from the Devil. I know Cal will never give up trying to become human again, but for right now, he’s stuck.

Criminal Macabre Dark Horse It’s been so funny to see Cal, who’s always been so cranky with the ghouls (and, well, everyone) having to adapt to being one himself. Was this always part of the plan?

SN: I have to admit I’m enjoying watching him squirm. Cal has always put a big defensive wall up between himself and the ghouls. Now that he’s one of them he has to find his place in the world. I’m having a lot of fun with Cal right now. Now that he’s a ghoul, is Cal finally drug free?

SN: Not really, but nothing works quite the way it did before. One thing I always try to do is vary what monsters can and can’t do. No two humans are alike. Why would monsters? Cal is going to have one hell of a ride as he works with his new self. One of my favorite parts of the series is Cal’s relationship with Mo’Lock. Has it ever been explained why Mo’Lock patiently hangs around and takes Cal’s abuse?

SN: I get into a lot more detail about Cal and Mo’Lock’s relationship in the novels and short stories. They were brought together by fate and in Savage Membrane we learn that they have a lot in common. There’s nothing really supernatural about their friendship, though. They are just friends.

Mo’Lock knows the abuse is just how Cal deals with the world and secretly, I think Mo’Lock really loves the guy. I love the dynamic between them because now they’ve been together so long, they are like an old married couple; they seem to hate each other, but there’s a huge amount of affection behind every barb.

Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2 Page You’re always involved in a lot of different projects–you currently also have the new 30 Days of Night and Wulf on your plate, as well. Where does Criminal Macabre fit in for you? What itch does it scratch, compared to your other projects?

SN: I don’t want to say writing Cal is easy, but he is the most comfortable character to write. Cal is like going home for me. I can always slide into his shoes and look at the world through his cynical eyes, and it just flows. Cal is an absolute priority for me. He’s my favorite child. There I said it. I hope, hope, hope that this new team can stay together for awhile and eventually go to series again. The Criminal Macabre/Goon crossover one-shot was fantastic. What other series/characters would you like Cal to “visit”?

SN: Well, the guest appearance from Hellboy was a big hint. I’d love to have Cal and Hellboy team up for a story. It would be fun because I don’t think they’d get along at all. The Criminal Macabre/Goon crossover was a lot of fun. It’s probably the silliest story I’ve ever written, but that was the point.

Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2 Page 2Crossovers are tough, because usually the story is pretty weak. I wanted to just get these two smart-asses in trouble as soon as possible because all the fun came out in their interaction. I wrote a really rough script, and then Powell came in and tweaked Franky and the Goon. It was just plain fun, and I hope that comes across. I could kind of see him as a love interest for Buffy for three issues or so–she’s dated the undead before, and Cal seems like less drama than Angel. Can you make that happen?

SN: Isn’t Buffy in High School? This is Twilight, ya know? When you started out, did you ever think you’d have enough Criminal Macabre stories for two omnibusses?

SN: Honestly, no. I never thought the character would catch on at all. I wrote Cal for fun long before anything would ever see publication, so it’s very strange to see everything being collected now. But I’m very happy, too, because with the new collections, a new generation of readers are discovering the stuff, and there’s a lot to give them! Why did you choose Dark Horse for Criminal Macabre?

SN: I’ve known Mike Richardson since I was a kid, and being published by Dark Horse was always a big deal for me. They were the first to publish Cal back in DHP in the ’90s, so when I pitched a series DH seemed like the logical home for it. That and DH gets what Cal is, and they have always been big supporters of the character and me.

Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2 Page Are there plans for more Criminal Macabre after “Die, Die, My Darling” concludes in DHP #6?

SN: Part one is already in the can and I send off the script for part two in . . . aw jeez, I’m late. Gotta go write Cal!!

Our thanks to Steve for taking a break to answer our questions! Make sure to pre-order the Criminal Macabre Omnibus Vol. 2 and pick up the latest Cal story in Dark Horse Presents!




Can you believe that Cal is a ghoul? Are you looking forward to more of his story? Post your comments below!

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